Sunday, December 26, 2010

Happy Holidays & More!

"....i still feel that heartwarming emotion when I receive notes of encouragement and nice comments from my virtual friends here at blogger.com!  I continue to marvel at this whole blogging process - you are able to catch a glimpse of people and their lives just by visiting their blogs!  As I've said before, finding that you can really begin the process of forging friendships and getting to know a fellow blogger, just by keeping up with daily or even weekly site visits is definitely handy when one doesn't communicate in a more traditional fashion.  So, now that I have some free time because of the Christmas season (the last surgery is on hold until the new year, I have a break from the dentist and even from the myriad of hospital tests), I'm finally able to spend time on my computer again!  And, I shall look forward to visiting your blogs and even commenting too as we continue with the ongoing process of getting to know one another!


I'm not yet back to riding, (I must wait until I have my bladder surgery and then the subsequent recovery process will further hinder my return-to-riding until late Winter/early Spring), I still maintain that it's critical to spend time with your horse, even if it's a hand walk, time spent grooming or even just hanging out with him in his stall.  But, since I'm used to having my guy stabled no more than 10 - 15 minutes from my home, now that he's approx. 30 - 40 minutes from home, it's been hard to get to the barn and I miss him terribly.  I sometimes find myself agonizing over whether or not the move to the new barn was premature but then I remember the benefits and also Valie has gained weight, made some great new turnout friends and is one happy Thoroughbred! 


On another note, I am happy to announce that my two grandsons, ages 3 & 5, are now riding at Four Winds Farm.  The 5 year old is actually taking lessons and the 3 year old gets a little leadline time at the end of the older child's lesson.  Please enjoy the photos I've posted of both boys!  Elijah is the older boy and Isaiah is the younger one, they are both horse crazy and forgive my if I sound like a proud Grandmother, but Elijah's posting trot is just incredible!  My little Isaiah will formally begin lessons when he turns 4 and I look forward to the day that the three of us ride together!  So, my question for the week is, What do you think of placing small children on a horse (with a helmet on their wee little heads, of course!) and what about lessons, etc.  I ask this question because some of my non-horsey friends are questioning my sanity and I would like to get a take on what you guys think!  Please don't hesitate to be brutally honest if you don't agree with my decisions to back their "horse fever"!"

Isaiah Dellacanonica
Introducing my youngest Grandson, 3 year old Isaiah, in his barn owned helmet!
I plan to get him fitted for a brand new helmet when he officially begins lessons.

Elijah
Introducing 5 year old Elijah, my oldest Grandson, and his mount for the day (a very trusty school horse!) and in the rear is Caitlin O'Neill, FWF's Barn Manager and she's a talented Instructor as well!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Four Winds Farm - Our New Home

"....after much personal chaos, family illness, that of my immediate family and myself, and everything that goes with a close family going through "tough times", I am back-to-blogging because life has granted me a reprieve from the intense responsibility of worrying about family and self and caring for others while attempting to recover and maintain my own health.  But, since this blog is supposed to be about Valie and I, I shall reserve the gory health details for another point in time, a time when I just can't find anything to say about "all things equine" (will that ever happen?).

I also want to take a moment to thank those of you that wrote support notes both here on my blog and via personal email!  I am finding that I look forward to visiting my follower's blogs and am also looking forward to getting to know ya'll a little better as time goes on.  I wonder if it's possible to make new friends, across-the-country, in this manner.  But, if the comments and blogs I've had the pleasure of reading are any indication of the wonderful people that blog and check in here, I am beginning to believe that friendships can be developed this way and that is definitely something I will cultivate in the future!

So, with that said, let me announce that Valie and I have finally made the move to a new barn!  The above captioned photo depicts the driveway entry to the property and as you can see, the name of the farm is "Four Winds Farm" and it's located in North Oxford, Massachusetts.  I know that I had not talked about moving other than to tell you about a friend of mine that was having his own share of "barn" difficulties.  But, the truth is that the barn I came from, Legacy Stable in Mendon, Massachusetts, was wonderful and the care was great as was the facility itself.  The primary reason for the move is because I am looking at hardly being able to ride over the winter while recovering from my surgery and the other health issues and that I was hoping to find someone to do some catch rides on Valie as well as some schooling rides on him by a trainer.  The problem is that Legacy Stable is primarily a saddleseat barn and specializes in Morgans and Arabians and since the Vee-Boy is a Thoroughbred, I thought it would be best to move to a barn that works with TB's as well as rides in the same discipline that I do (Hunter/Jumper).  The truth is that I really had a hard time coming to the decison to move and leaving the owners/trainers at Legacy, Mike and Liz Murphy, was very difficult as I call them "friends", admire them very much and also, had it not been for them, I would have never made my re-entry into horse ownership as smooth as it was 4 years ago, without their knowledge and assistance!  But, putting Valie first as well as giving him an opportunity at a huge turnout with grass in the summer and an owner/trainer, Jamie Blash, that is an excellent trainer/rider, I am quite secure in the decision I've made. 

The night I went to visit the farm for the first time, only a mere half hour into the tour, I began to feel safe with Ms. Blash and knew my horse would be in good hands.  Some of those feelings stemmed from the visual of the tremendous condition of the farm, the well fed horses that were happily munching lots of hay in their clean stalls and the happy boarders and students, all indicators of a top-notch facility and a hint of the great care my horse would surely receive.  Another interesting observation was noticing that Jamie was genuinely warm and welcoming and let's face it, that's something you don't always find in barn owners/trainers.  In other words, I immediately and completely "hit it off" with her and truly speaking, I knew right then and there that I had found our new home!  So, as of this upcoming Monday, we will celebrate our 2 Week anniversary at Four Winds Farm and as I get back in the saddle again, I will chronicle my journey while navigating my body back into "riding mode".  I ask you to come along for the ride and I promise you that we'll share a few laughs as I recount what I'm sure will be many-a-blunder as I try to get back to my previous level of riding!

I will close for this evening but will be back shortly with more to come from "The Adventures of Cathy and Valie at Four Winds Farm"!

Monday, November 1, 2010

The number (person) you have reached is not in service (available) at this time!

"...just a short note to say that I was recently put in the horrific position of having to place my Mom, albeit temporarily, in a nursing home and simultaneously, my Aunt, my Mom's sister, (who is like a second Mom to me), just underwent open heart surgery.  My cousin, my Aunt's son, also had heart surgery a week later, my son is facing foot surgery and I am facing bladder surgery.  So, with that said, please excuse me while I take a little down time to deal with all that's going on.  I will return when "things" become akin to normal again and until then, "Happy Fall" riding!"

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Barn Buddies or NOT!

Are they mad at one another or is it just one single, bad moment in time? 
There's a lot to be said for the friendships that develop between boarders and even though I've posted a posturing photo of our horses, this blog post is about barn friendships of the human kind!  So, what happens when one boarder doesn't feel as if they are part of "the group" or if one boarder shuns another.  Is it the role of the barn manager and/or owners to step in and help someone "feel at home", is it their responsibility to step in if an issue exists between one or more boarders and if so, how should it be resolved?

A friend of mine recently experienced a very uncomfortable situation at his barn.  His "situation" took place when the barn manager and owners went to an "away show".  It seems as if there was a slight communication breakdown about how certain daily chores were to be done and when turnout became an issue because of bad footing, he asked for help from one of the members of the group and what he received in return was nothing!  Now, it wouldn't have been so bad if he'd been able to get to the barn to take care of his horse's issue himself but he was facing some extreme stress as a result of family health issues and it would have been nice if someone from the barn could have stepped up to do him a small favor.  It became even more unsettling when he found that several of the people he left messages for said that they never received his emails or phone messages.  At the end, I am sad to report that several days later, my friend innocently found some information (think internet footprints!) that made it very clear he was being lied to for no good reason!

My friend is a wonderful guy, very laid back, easy going, helpful, cleans up after himself and his horse and even helps to clean the barn.  He is very personable and liked by many people but for some reason, the boarders or at least a small group of them are not giving him a chance to partake in anything that even vaguely resembles group like fun or activities.  Some might argue that he shouldn't be concerned with this as his only focus should be his horse but when something like this hits you in the face and it's hard to get away from being in close proximity to people that don't really want to interact with you, it's hard to shrug it off!

I'm going to think on this for a day or two and then give you my personal answer.  However, if any of you guys want to chime in on this issue, I would love to hear your viewpoints!

Friday, September 24, 2010

The Cribbing Strap Dilemma



Valie sporting his fleece covered cribbing strap in Winter 2010
 at
 KGA in Mendon, Massachusetts




"....as much as I love my boy, I never loved the fact that he came to me as "a dedicated cribber".  As a matter of fact, he was so dedicated to cribbing that the very moment you took his halter off or you had the reins around his neck and bridle in hand ready for him to take the bit, he would reach for the nearest solid object to get his "cribbing fix" and........practically take you with him!  Moreover, he would even crib between every bite of his food and it was no wonder that he couldn't pick up weight.  He drew crowds of people at dinner time and there they stood while he chomped on a few bites of food and then turned his attention to wind sucking so hard, between each morsel of grain, that it sounded like a "fog horn" was going off in the barn!"


Now, I've just described a horse, my horse, without a cribbing strap around his neck; but, as luck would have it, as soon as the strap went on, he completely respected it and never tried to crib while it was around that huggable neck of his.  So, then it began, the trials and tribulations of making certain that the strap never cut into his neck and if it ever did, the countless topical solutions that I gently rubbed on the minor abrasions, then it was the endless fleece purchases, the on-going trips to my washing machine to clean said fleeces and finally, every time I had to be away for business or pleasure, I had to be certain that the barn manager would remember to check it (and yes, I always offered to or paid for this service!).


The changes were slight at first, he began to gain weight and I then discovered that when I took his cribbing strap off to bridle him, he no longer tried to bull dozer me over in a mad attempt to grab onto anything that he deemed "cribbable".  Yup, it was magic! 


During this time period (the first year of our partnership), I was happy to report that he was now a well mannered guy and frankly, since he never tried to crib when that strap was on, I took his crib-free lifestyle for granted, so much so that when we arrievd at our last boarding barn, I had forgotten to ask the barn owner/manager if they would allow a cribber, even if said cribbing was controlled by a strap!  As it turned out, the barn owner was none-too-pleased with me but when she saw that he respected the cribbing strap, she soon forgot about his "issue" too!


So, fast forward to 2010, we left KGA to return to our first barn, Legacy Stables http://www.legacystables.net/, in Mendon, Massachusetts.  I immediately noticed that he settled in very quickly, then we all noticed that he gained even more weight, seemed to be more relaxed than ever and he stopped doing his little stall-walking dance when people stood around his stall.  The other change was that he became even more affectionate, he actually looked excited when I arrived at the barn and, he even let me massage his ears (something that he never let me do unless he was tranquilized)!  Then, several weeks ago, after an early evening grooming session, I removed his halter and then decided to take the strap off to replace the fleeces, turned my back for a moment to replace the dirty with the clean when I suddenly realized he wasn't cribbing.  I stopped what I was doing and did a slow-motion turn around as if I was afraid that I would wake from a dream!  But, there he stood, calmly looking at me as if to say, "Mom, what's with you, why do you look so shocked!".  However, the truth was that I was shocked, shocked and mesmerized to see that he never even came close to thinking about cribbing!  In other words, this dedicated cribber of mine had relegated his bad habit to the trash can.  Was it a fluke, was I in the "Twilight Zone" and/or would this all be but a dream tomorrow?  I chose to leave the strap off and in the next half hour prior to leaving the barn, he continued to stand quietly with that quizzical look on his face and then after I threw him a flake of hay, he began enjoying his evening treat without alternating between food and cribbing!


The next day he was turned out without the strap and I was informed by the barn staff that he didn't crib out there on the fence, he came back in and still no cribbing, I arrived a day later and still no cribbing.  My limited research into this particular subject says that it's highly unlikely a cribber ever stops but my guy stopped.  So, many questions remain but the biggest question is whether or not he will ever crib again?  For now, the answer is, only time will tell and........I promise to keep you updated on this "Miracle in Massachusetts"!"

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Our 4 Year Anniversary & A Case of Buyer's Remorse

"....it's coming up on 4 years very soon, "Yup, 4 years since Valie and I became a "pack of two"!"  The truth is that I had planned to wait until we reached our 5 year anniversary before writing about anything relating to our first days together; but, the mood struck so I decided to forego the original plan and write anyway! 

During the first month of us getting to know one another, he and I experienced many, shall I say, "moments".  However, one in particular stands out in my mind and................it happened right after his arrival from Vermont and while he was just beginning to settle into our new home, Legacy Stable in Mendon, Massachusetts http://www.legacystable.net/.

It was only my 2nd day of horse ownership (after a 17 1/2 year break from owning my last Off-Track Thoroughbred) and I was excited about the prospect of getting to the stable and beginning to get to know my horse!  I arrived with a shiny new grooming bag and new brushes, etc. and my first order of business was getting him on the cross-ties so that we could do some bonding-while-grooming.  I began to search for aisle-way cross-ties but couldn't find any.  It was a busy day at the barn, the farrier was just leaving and horses were being trained.  Therefore, I didn't want to bother the staff or the owners.  But, when 30 minutes had lapsed and I was still searching for the "ties", I knew I had to ask someone.  I then asked Mike, one of the owners, and he patiently explained to me that there were two cross tie rings in Valie's stall and that everyone did grooming and tacking-up in their stalls.  I was horrified as I never encountered anything but cross-tying your horse in the aisles but I politely said thank you and proceeded to halter him in preparation for this unorthodox method of grooming. 

But ah-ha, it was then I noticed a grooming stall; so, I quickly decided that we should be in there rather than in his stall!  I snapped a lead to his halter and down the aisle we headed for "Destination Grooming Stall" when suddenly, he picked up the pace and began to drag me to the door!  And, to make matters worse, he began to scream so loudly that I was convinced that the people in the next town could hear him!  As he picked up speed, we did a role-reversal as I was suddenly the one being led.  I immediately began to panic and I was then acutely aware that all my previous horse-keeping knowledge, from many years before, was just that, "a distant memory from many years before".  So, despite my best efforts to slow him down or control his race walking and jigging, I knew that I was  going to lose what little bit of leadership I had left!

I suddenly felt as if I was having one of those "out of body experiences" and vaguely remember yelling for help!  However, it was evident that Mike didn't catch the urgency in my voice and when he said, I"ll be with you in a moment", I knew that unless Mike immediately astrally projected himself to us, tragedy was about to erupt!  So, in my best horror-movie-scream-queen voice, I yelled, "Mike, it's an EMERGENCY" and with that Mike sprinted toward us and narrowly averted a disaster!  I'm certain that if he didn't arrive at the scene when he did, I would have let go of that lead rope and Valie would have been running free in the parking lot (you know what kind of parking lot I mean, the kind that is not gated and is directly behind a well traveled road).

I can't even begin to describe my shame for being unable to control my horse but it was back to business as usual for everyone else with the exception of me.  And, thanks to Mike, there stood my Valie in the grooming stall, cross-tied and ready to be groomed and there I went, un-snapping him as fast as I could and putting him back in his stall, from there, I disappared into the ladies room where I had myself a good cry while thinking that I had single-handedly made the biggest mistake of undertaking the role of horse owner again.  I was so rattled that I began to wonder how I could convince his previous caretaker, the volunteer from Canter USA - New England http://www.canterne.org/, to take him back!  I was even ready to face the myriad of voices that would surely say, "I told you so!".

"....what to do, what to do, I thought but then, as I made my way back to his stall and saw those kind eyes that held just a bit of fear of the unknown, I immediately realized that he was only responding to his new environment, one that he was unsure of, one that was foreign to him and like him, I too was reacting to the newness of the situation.  I went closer to that beautiful head of his, gave him carrot treats and whispered to him that we would work at this "getting to know one another" business  by taking slow, baby steps.  And, as corny and dramatic as this may sound, it was then that I began to feel the first blush of bonding between him and I. 

Over the next several weeks, we began the process of making friends, human to equine, equine to human and today, almost 4 years later, no greater bond has ever been built between myself and a horse!

           "as stated in many of my previous blog entries, "I just love that horse of mine".

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

On The Sunny Side of Equine Street

"....just a short entry, in the wee hours of the morning, to say that the two main canine guys in my life are on the road to recovery and that it's finally time to get back to "all things equine".  So, with that said, I shall pick up where I left off and begin to blog about "tall boots" (betcha can't wait for my musings!).  So, until we meet again, "....bye for now!".

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Romeo - His Ongoing Medical Saga

I am very sad this evening, I watch my little Brittany, Romeo, as he eats his dinner, while balancing on 3 legs.  He carefully holds his 4th leg, the one with the ligament tear, slightly off the floor and believe me when I tell you that watching that with the knowledge that he's in pain is truly heartbreaking for me.  We are now a little over a month into the waiting game for surgery, having had to wait until his blood work was back to normal and now that he is 100% healthy otherwise, he's getting his shots up-to-date and finally his groomer of many years, Jen, the manager of PetSmart Grooming in Bellingham, MA (who I highly recommend) will be called to get the requisite "clipping of the nails" done prior to surgery.  And lastly, we shall go back to the animal hospital for one more consultation and then my baby-boy will have his surgery and.......not a second too soon!

I have digressed away from the topic of "The Adventures of Cathy and Valie" but doing that was necessary.  Since life has a way of putting many obstacles in my path, sort of like an ongoing test to prove to the powers-that-be that I am strong and can handle anything (far from the truth), in one's month time, I lost my cat of 18 years, my beautiful little Cali, to old age, my Mom has moved to a nursing home, my Aunt (who is like a Mother to me) is facing heart valve replacement surgery and of course dealing with the health crisis of Romeo and Luigi.  I am thankful that my horse is thriving and even though I am only able to get to the stable a few times a week right now, he always whinnies to me when I walk in calling his name and he gets the best of care by "Team Legacy."

I had hoped to relate the events of this past month in more detail but exhaustion has a way of forcing me to realize that I am up waaaaaaay past my bedtime!  So, until next time, I shall sign off with thanks to all my dear friends, the ones that are always there when I need them!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Romeo and Luigi - Their Ongoing Medical Saga

"....ahhhh, well, the good news is that Luigi is completely clear of the dreaded big "C" and according to the Surgeon, Dr. Woolfson and the wonderful staff of Medway Animal Hospital, Medway, MA., the margins were clear and then some.  As it turned out, they also removed a "fatty" tumor on his neck and aspirated two other extremely small cysts and all were negative for anything "bad".  This has given my family and I and especially my elderly Aunt, who spends her days with him, the greatest feeling of joy and relief!  The incisions look great and are healing well with minimal scar tissue and he is now pain free and off of all "comfort" meds.  We will continue to check him him on a regular basis for any future occurence of a cyst or tumor but the Vet feels that the prognosis is good and that he should continue to do very well!  However, since there is no way to be sure that he will never again develop another Mast Cell Tumor or something similar, I will faithfully be "eyeballin" his body!


As for Romeo, his surgery is forthcoming during the next 7 - 10 days and the truth is that he is off of all pain meds and only takes an occasional "Bufferin" if he seems to be in pain or is limping mpre than ususal.  While this is not an indication that he is getting better (a cranial cruciate ligament tear cannot heal itself), it is great that he is not experiencing very much pain while waiting for the surgery.  I do notice that he is very careful to keep most of the weight off of his left hind leg and although I worry about the other hind leg taking the brunt of the weight, he is in excellent physical condition and has great musculature so that helps him overall.  I will report back after the surgery and will provide specific details!"

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Early Morning Sadness

I was just about to post a brand new blog topic titled, "Tall Boot Shopping Dilemmas", when two of my dogs were dignosed with major medical problems.  So, the "tall boot" shopping story had to be put on the shelf in wait for a less stressful time.  I haven't been able to even sign on to my computer much less post about a frivilous topic such as "my quest to find the perfect tall boot".

So, with that said, let me say that my emotionally soft but hard-driving pointing breed, hunting dog, Romeo (he's a Brittany) experienced a complete Cranial Cruciate Ligament Tear. He landed wrong after a leap while playing, screamed in pain and was then unable to put any pressure on his left hind leg. After taking all the at-home steps to determine if this injury required Vet care or if it was something that rest-at-home could help, I decided that a trip to Tuft's School of Veterinary Medicine (one of New England's premiere Vet Hospitals), was needed and who knew that my most horrific fears would be realized when I heard the diagnosis, Cranial Cruciate Ligament Tear.  Well, my heart sank and my stomach did a "flip-flop"!

So, with that said, he will be undergoing reconstructive surgery next week.  And, as such, I am so fearful that his quality of life will be affected after the procedure and am also having a hard time "keeping the faith". In other words, I am very frightened about the impending surgery and very worried despite everyone, including the Vet's, best efforts to reassure me and then........right on the heels of that tragedy, a routine visit for my comedian Luigi, a German Shorthair Pointer, a dog that will have you laughing in minutes and then gasping as he runs like the wind and screeches to a halt, on point, after he's scented a pheasant; well, his routine visit uncovered a lump on his side and upon aspiration, it was deemed a "Mast Cell Tumor" (the big "C") and he underwent surgery at 9:00 this morning. And now, deep in worry that it has spread to major organs has me "Sleepless in Massachusetts" and unable to do anything but comtemplate what the day will be like and what the outcome will be for both of my dogs as the weeks go on.
                                                     
"I shall return again when I have received the results of Luigi's pathology report and after Romeo has his surgery.  Moreover, to whomever reads this blog post, thanks for listening!

"....Romeo waiting for us to pack up and leave after an early morning Pheasant hunt!"


"Luigi and I after winning another leg toward the completion of our AKC Hunt Test title!"





Monday, March 29, 2010

Off Track Thoroughbreds At Play






















I really don't have anything to say this evening; so, I thought I would post some photos of our off-track Thoroughbreds at play. So, without further adieu, I present "The Three Amigos"!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

KGA Morgans


















































After recently posting the specifics about Valie's new home, it only seems fair that I add a couple of photos that depict the natural beauty of this facility. The owner, Maggie Hood, did an incredible job of designing and building this barn, it is light and airy and very beautiful (as you can can clearly see by by viewing the photos!). You may also notice references to team sports and it goes without saying that Ms. Hood is one staunch supporter of our Boston teams! I also want to take a moment to mention KGA's Head Trainer, Nicki Rae Woodworth, a very talented individual who has won many Morgan Championships and has trained multiple riders to other top honors. Moreover, Peter Wheeler, yet another trainer at KGA is quite versatile and as much as he now focuses on the Saddle Seat Discipline, I recently found that he comes from a Hunter/Jumper, Dressage and Eventing background and surprisingly, we both discovered that we know many of the same people from the past - talk about a walk down Memory Lane (there is actually a memory lane in my hometown of Milford, Massachusetts!).

Monday, February 15, 2010

The Belated New Year's Post

Well, here it is, only an hour and one half since Valentine's day screeched to a halt and I'm finally getting around to the post I planned to write on January 1st! Oh well, "better late than never"; so, here goes!

After Lindsey and I managed to extricate ourselves from the fiasco of having to put our business venture on hold, yet again, I want to send a big thanks to Darryl Johnson for putting us in a position so that we got to watch our dreams as they went down the drain. This evil property owner forced us out of our home/barn just as we were about to move into the house (our horses were already in the barn) and then purchase the entire farm! But hey, that in-depth story will be told at a later date! So anyway, there we were, three horses and two woman and no place to go but as I described in an earlier post, we found a temporary home with my friend Liz and sadly, while there, we lost the beautiful Thoroughbred, Lily, to colic and then, of course, wore out our welcome rather fast (sorry to David, Liz's husband!). So, we made plans for William and he was leased out to the barn manager at an eventing barn, Coursebrook Farm in Sherborn, MA www.coursebrookfarm.com and was and continues to get the best of care! 

My guy Valie and I found our way to Kelly Green Acres in Mendon, MA. It then seemed as if life suddenly took a calm turn as we began to re-evaluate our plans yet again. However, as it is today, we are beginning to search for property but since that is in an early stage, let me tell you about Valie's new accomodations first! That Thoroughbred of mine is living in the lap of luxury in what I deem to be the most beautiful state-of-the-art farm I've ever seen. The outside of this brand new farm looks like a beautiful Georgian Colonial home and if you didn't know that you looking at a barn from the outside, you would never guess that its inhabitants had four legs rather than two! The barn is a comfortable 50 - 55 degrees and despite the temps dropping into the teens, you don't need to wear anything more than a light jacket or a sweatshirt and even then, as you groom your horse, get him ready to ride, etc., you find yourself ditching the sweatshirt because you just don't need it! Ahhhh, what a wonderful pleasure it is to be able to work comfortably with your horse in the dead of Winter! Moreover, the horses need nothing more than a light sheet. So, since I only owned heavy winter blankets with neck attachments, etc., I was off to Smartpak www.smartpak.com to buy a sheet! By the way, while we are on the subject of sheets, etc., let me just say that Smartpak is now producing their own line of sheets, blankets, etc. and they are extremely well made, very cost effective and Valie looks so handsome in his Blackwatch Plaid sheet! I will snap a pic or two very soon so that you can see for yourself how good he looks in his new duds!

Anyway, back to describing the farm - It has four wash stalls complete with climate controlled water, an equisite tack room and it has storage rooms, a utility sink room, separate grain room (something I really like as I feel that every barn should keep grain and supplements away from eveything else) and big, comfortable stalls all made in solid oak paneled wood! The lounge which is a also the indoor arena observation room, leads to the attached indoor (with incredible footing) and the luxury continues with couches, chairs, kitchen facilities and more and then, for those of us that feel the need to take a shower after we ride, there is a huge heated bathroom with said shower! I feel lucky to have stumbled upon this barn and while it is only on an interim basis, it is only 10 minutes from home and my horse is happy and especially so when he will soon get to turnout in lush, green pastures and ride on hundreds on acres of trails!
"....with that said, I am going to retire for the night and since I have now just fielded the second "wrong number" of the evening, from a guy looking for "Fran" who keeps calling me "babe" while he drunkenly apologizes for making the mistake again, I think it's best that I unplug the phone and go to bed for the night!"

I'll try my hardest to talk on a more consistent basis as I do not want to be considered one of those "fly by night" bloggers that have nothing to offer in "Blog Land"!